893.51/3181: Telegram

The Minister in China ( Crane ) to the Acting Secretary of State

15. For Legation and American business men in China. Request information regarding consortium as follows: [Page 356]

1.
Scope. Does consortium debar private initiative from construction all of the communication transportation including railways, roads, canals, telegraphs, telephones, aeroplanes, et cetera, also large commercial and industrial joint undertakings, such as rumored tobacco partnership, as reported in my 472 December 31 [30], 1 p.m.34
2.
Bond issue. Is consortium unaffected if to obtain necessary funds to finance an enterprise a bank abroad should accept Chinese Government bonds and upon them float loan or increase its capital stock? Would it make any difference if China’s obligations were issued in the name of a specific bank or corporation abroad rather than in freely negotiable form? Where is the line between public and private flotation to be drawn?
3.
Size of undertakings. Is consortium interested in undertakings of all sizes? If not, what size is outside its scope?

Stevens35 unable to answer above. It is hoped that consortium will not discourage American private commercial initiative in China.

Crane
  1. Not printed.
  2. Frederick W. Stevens, representative of the American group.